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tv   Tonight From Washington  CSPAN  October 6, 2011 8:00pm-11:00pm EDT

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yield for a question. the presiding officer: the senator from mississippi. mr. wicker: i want to thank the distinguished majority leader for yielding. i will not take long. i've been in the senate four years now, and i think my colleagues know i don't come down to the floor and spout a lot of hot air. but i but i have to be heard tonight, and i will agree with my friend, the majority leader, on one thing. this is no way to legislate. he said those words a few moments ago, and i agree. we have become accustomed to a procedure, and i have disagreed with that procedure, but it has been the regular order during the time i have been here, and that is the usual practice is a bill is brought to the floor and the majority leader immediately
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offers every amendment that can possibly be offered in a parliamentary way, thus filling the amendment tree and preventing other senators from offering amendments. then cloture is filed and we don't have an opportunity to have a full hearing. i am told this has not always been the practice, but we have been accustomed to that practice. what happened tonight is far different from that, and i think that's why my friend from tennessee propounded the question to the majority leader. we had a bill and it may be a messaging bill, but if it were passed, it would be a significant piece of legislation. i think both sides acknowledge this. and no amendments were allowed precloture, and no amendments have been allowed postcloture,
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and the majority leader this very day after the cloture vote assured the senate that we would be operating under an open process, he said those words. of not only that and perhaps the majority leader when i finish in just a moment or two could -- could correct me, but i believe i heard the majority leader say we would be allowed to offer motions to suspend the rules on a number of amendments and debate would be allowed. now, what occurred was senator coburn offered his motion to suspend the rules on his amendment, and we assumed that we would be able to do this on at least a few amendments, but the very first amendment that
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was offered, the majority leader suggested to the chair and made the point of order to the chair that that was dilatory, one amendment. one amendment, and that was deemed dilatory by the majority leader and the parliament correctly instructed the chair to overrule that suggestion by the majority leader. upholding the precedence of this senate. and one by one, democratic members of this body had to march down and vote to overrule the parliamentarian of this senate for the very purpose of shutting down the chance to offer one single amendment. when the -- when the majority leader well knew he had the votes to win, but our rules
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have, i thought, been designed and i think our society is designed around the concept that the minority has an opportunity to be protected, the minority has an opportunity to be heard in this body of all bodies. and what we have come tonight unless we can remove that is we have changed the rules of the senate on a messaging bill, on a matter that the majority leader had the votes on. so that is my objection. that is why i am so disturbed about the overreaction and heavy-handedness of this move. this is not a matter of supporting of one bill that he wants to get us out of town on. this is precedent, and we have -- unless we can change it, we have forever changed the
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right of the majority to be heard postcloture, and i am saddened about that. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: first of all, let me tell my friend that amendments could have been offered pre- cloture, and my friend said he thought we would be able to offer some amendments postcloture with their motions to suspend the rules, and that's what i said would happen and i agreed to that. seven amendments. now, people were saying well, you choose the amendments. i didn't come up with those things. they came up with them. they are the ones they gave me. i guess i was supposed to pick and select which ones they did. that's what i did. i could not get agreement on some of these amendments. i have explained that in some detail previously. now, also everyone should recognize motions to suspend the rules are still available. they are just not available
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postcloture. the rule 22 provides -- quote - "it is the sense of the senate that debate shall be brought to a close." that's what it says. i'm sorry my friend is disappointed, but i think the play book that he is reading from is not really accurate. mr. mcconnell: i would say to the majority leader -- the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: the senator from mississippi is accurate. until the vote we had just a few moments ago, motions to suspend postcloture were appropriate, and no longer are they appropriate because, as my friend from mississippi pointed out, we have in effect changed the rule. a senator: mr. president. mr. reid: i yield to my friend from tennessee. mr. corker: first of all, i want to thank the leader for taking the time to explain from his
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perspective what has happened. i guess what i'd like to -- mr. president, to understand is when amendments are offered, why don't we just go ahead and vote on them? i mean, it's become standard procedure -- mr. reid: could you start over? i was interrupted. mr. corker: that's no problem. i want to thank the leader for taking the time to explain from his perspective what has happened. here is what i don't understand. we have a cloture motion, a motion to proceed on a monday. it's thursday night. we have had no votes on anything other than a cloture vote. i guess what i'd love to understand is why don't we just immediately begin voting on amendments. we could have been done with this bill yesterday. instead, everybody cools their heels, waits around while some negotiation takes place. it's sort of a self-appointed rules committee, and then at the end something like this happens.
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i'd like to understand from the leader's perspective, mr. president, why we don't just go ahead and vote on amendments. again, we could have been done yesterday. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: mr. president, if i could just respond to my friend, people around here are talking as if this is something that never has happened before. this has happened -- i don't remember all the times that i have been in the senate that the chair, as brilliant as our parliamentarian is, and the chair does his best to sustain what the parliamentarian wants, he is not always sustained. there are all kinds of examples. and i have been involved in a number of those. so it -- this isn't as if it never happened before. we did this with the understanding that what is going on here is dilatory, and that's what the majority of the senate felt. i would yield. mr. schumer: would you yield for a question? mr. reid: i would be happy to yield to my friend. mr. schumer: i would like in the form of a question to the majority leader also try to impart some -- because we're all
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frustrated. and the senator from tennessee and i talked about that frustration at the beginning of this session in an attempt -- obviously, it hasn't worked terribly well -- to try and straighten this out. and you are frustrated. we can talk about the specifics here, and the one point i would make is the majority leader, isn't that true, mr. leader, offered on the floor, he said i will allow amendments on this bill yesterday, and the only amendment that was sent to us was the amendment to have a vote on the president's budget, is that correct? that was before cloture was filed. mr. reid: that's right. mr. schumer: and it was not widely known on this side, but the majority leader had offered amendments on this bill. but the question i want to ask and i want to make a statement -- or i want to lead up to the question. you're frustrated because you feel the tree is filled all the time and you can't make amendments, but we are frustrated because the 60-vote rule, which has always been used here, is now used routinely, which it never had been done
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before. judges, district court judges. i have been here in the senate 13 years, i was in the house 18 years and followed the senate, cared about judges. it never happened before. routine appointments, assistant secretaries of this, deputy secretaries of that, 60 votes. and on bill after bill after bill, the procedure of this place works that somebody has to object. that's why you file cloture. otherwise, we could proceed. in the past, the motion to proceed was not routinely blocked. and almost every single bill -- important bills, obviously. no one thinks the health care bill should have passed by 51 votes, but on minor bills, we had a filibuster on technical
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corrections to the transportation bill. route 287 was written down 387 by mistake, and it was filibustered. 60 votes. so our defense is to fill the tree. but what we ought to try to do here -- and as i said, the senator from tennessee and i futilely tried earlier this year and maybe calmed things down -- is maybe use this flash point to try to come together and work that out again. that may be the -- that maybe the minority would not filibuster routinely everything, appointments, judges, minor bills, save it for the major bills, and in return i agree with the minority leader, the republican leader, the deal around this place is the majority sets the agenda and the minority gets to offer amendments. that has been the rule since i got here and it's one of the
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reasons, you're absolutely correct i say to my friend from kentucky, why i left the house to run for the senate, but it's gotten to an extreme. you would say, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle would say it got to the extreme because we always fill the tree. we would say it got to the extreme because you filibuster everything and require 60 votes. we only have 53, we know that, on everything, judges, appointments, minor bills. and if we're going to bring this place back to order -- and my friend from tennessee, the junior senator from tennessee, if we're going to bring this place back to a way where we can legislate, we are going to have to both sides back off and we're going to have to figure out how to do that, which we haven't very adequately yet. just one other point before i ask my question. the senator from west virginia had a few of us on his boat this
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week, and a number of the freshman senators from the other side of the aisle were on the boat and i was on the boat, and we began to talk about they were asking why is the place so mixed up. i was explaining some of the greatest joyce i have had in the senate and the house were conference committees and offering amendments and things like that. and we all said together why can't we get back to that? but let me say that it is not simply filling the tree and preventing amendments that has caused this problem. it is routinely requiring 60 votes before the senate gets a drink of water. and so my question to the majority leader is this -- would he be willing -- and we need a little bit of a cooling off period. would he be willing to sit down with the minority leader and others in an effort to try and
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figure out how we can get back to somewhat more of a regular order? in regards to what i said. mr. reid: to my friend and to others who are listening, so everybody understands a little bit of the frustration that i have, we all went through the battle on the fema bill. everyone remembers that. people in the dark bowels of this building someplace typed that bill up. they made a mistake and had a comma, a comma in the wrong place, a comma in the wrong place. i asked consent, that was a technical correction, could we get that done. there were already press releases out from my republican friends, we're not going to agree to any consent on anything. so you talk about frustration, there is plenty of it to go
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around. mr. president, i want to try to end this on a high note. i love this institution. i've devoted most of my life here in this building. not only as a long-time member of the house and the senate but i lived here going to law school. i worked in this building. i was a cop in this building. i love this building, i love this institution. i don't want to do anything to denigrate the institution. maybe there is blame to go around. i think there probably is. but frustration builds upon frustration, and as a result of that, we have situations just like this. so here is my suggestion: i think that just as we had a cooling-off period as we indicated that we would on that fema c.r., we had a cooling-off period, the republican leader and i agreed that that would be the right thing to do and we came back and worked something
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out. we did it very quickly. it wasn't to everyone's satisfaction, i had people upset, he had people upset but we did that. it would be my suggestion that we do what i originally suggested, i think we should go ahead and do final passage on this matter on tuesday night, and do the judge first and vote on the jobs bill. and we'll do the trade stuff. and i am happy to not only sit down with the republican leader and, you know, i'm sure we can all cinch up our belts and as i -- they say in the old and new testament gird our loins and try to do a better job of how we get along here. i've talked to the republican leader only briefly about this, but i had a discussion with my leadership today, and one of the things that i was going to announce and so here it is, one of the things i want to do is have a joint caucus.
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i want to have one with democratic senators and republican senators and at that time we can all talk about some of the frustrations we all have. i wanted to do 25 the first week we got back after the next recess. i hope that doesn't -- all my people don't know about this and certainly i haven't finalized this with the republican leader but i think that would be a good step forward, that senator mcconnell and i could be there in front of everybody else together, questions could be asked, statements could be made, and we could see if that would let a little air out of the tires. but -- and i'll be happy to next time we get cloture, in that event sometime in the future, to sit down and find out what, if anything, we should do postcloture on matters relating to people who are frustrated. so that's my statement, mr. president. so i -- i'm not asking for consent on anything, but i would hope that we could all
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leave and i would have senator mcconnell and i would direct the staff to come up with something, an arrangement comparable to what i just suggested. i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. reid: mr. president. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the call of the quorum be terminated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to a period of morning business, senators permitted to speak up to 10 minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: and we will have no
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more votes. i've checked with the republican leader. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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quorum call:
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quorum call:
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mr. reid: mr. president. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the call of the quorum be terminated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i move to proceed to s. 1660. the presiding officer: without objection. the clerk will report. the clerk: motion to proceed to calendar number 187, s. 1660, a bill to provide tax relief for american workers and business and so forth. mr. reid: mr. president, i have a cloture motion at the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: cloture motion, we the undersigned senators in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate hereby move to bring to a close the debate on the motion to proceed to calendar number 187, s. 1660,
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the american jobs act of 2011, signed by 17 senators. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the names -- reading of the names be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the requirement under rule 22 be waived, following passage of st. s. 1619 on october 11, the time be divided between the names are prior to the motion to invoke cloture on s. 1660. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i now withdraw my motion to proceed. cons notwithstanding not having received the following bills from the house h.r. 3080, h.r. 3079, h.r. 3078, the senate proceed to their consideration en bloc, that there be up to 12 hours of debate equally divided between the leaders or the designees, that upon the use or yielding back of that time and the receipt of the papers from the house the senate proceed to
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votes on passage of the bills in the order listed, finally, no amendments or points of order or motions to any of the bills other than budget points of order and applicable motions to waive. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: mr. president, by ask that this agreement be modified to make sure that senator baucus has 20 minutes and that senator bruin has one hour. -- brown has one hour. and senator sanders has one hour. the presiding officer: could the majority leader please claire fi which senator brown? mr. reid: and if the republicans wish additional time they can do that. it's brown of ohio. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i'm sorry about that. mr. president, i have just spoken to -- mr. president, just so everyone understands, there has been some discussion that we had in my caucus on
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tuesday and i just spoke to the -- with the house and i've been given -- i've given a guarantee from the speaker that the trade adjustment assistance bill will pass next week with these matters. i ask unanimous consent that on tuesday, october 11, 2011 at 5:30 p.m. the senate proceed to executive session to consider calendar 250, two minutes for debate, that upon the use or yielding back of that time senate proceed to vote with no intervening action or debate on calendar number 250. the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid on the payable with no intervening action or debate, any related statements be printed in the record, the president be immediately notified of the senate's action and the consent agreement remain in effect in the legislative session. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to consideration of h.r. 29 the 44.
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the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: h.r. 2944, an act to provide for the continued performance of the functions of the united states parole commission and for other purposes. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent a coburn 578d be agreed to, the bill be read a third time and passed, the motion to reconsider, no intervening action or debate and any statements appear in the record as if read. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the judiciary committee be discharged from further consideration of s. 1639. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. 1639 to amend title 36 united states code and so forth and for other purposes. the presiding officer: the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the bill be read a third time, passed, there be no intervening action or debate, any statements statements. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous
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consent the judiciary committee be considered from further drgs and the senate proceed to s. res. 201. the presiding officer: the clerk: . the clerk: express passing for the regret for discriminatory laws of chinese in america. the presiding officer: the senate will proceed to the measure. proud i ask unanimous consent the brown amendment, brown of massachusetts, at the desk be agreed to, the resolution as as amended be agreed to and the motion to reconsider. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to consideration en bloc of the following resolutions submitted earlier today, s. 288, s. 289, and s. 290. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent cons the resolutionings be agreed to, the preambles be agreed to, the motions to reconsider, en bloc, and any
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statements appear in the record as if read. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes the business day it adjourn to 12:00 p.m. on friday, october 7, for a pro forma session only with no business conducted an following the pro forma session the senate adjourn until tuesday, october 11. and i should mention that's 2011, to be extended. the morning business be deemed expired, time for the two leaders reserved for use later this the day, and the senate be in a period of morning business until 5:30 p.m. with senators permitted to speak up to 10 minutes each and executive session under the previous order following the vote on confirmation of the malazzo nomination, the senate preresume executive session and the senate vote on passage of the bill. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: three votes starting
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at 5:30 p.m. on tuesday, the first on confirmation of the judge that i've previously mentioned, second vote on the passage of s. 1619, the china currency bill. and finally a cloture vote on the motion to proceed to s. 1660. if there is no further business to come before the senate i ask it stand adjourned. the presiding officer: the the presiding officer: the
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>> the senate sustained a point of order by senator reid with respect to victor mainmast of amendments and will coach youti? show your comments on the senate vote.thundershowespeak p >> i understand the roles that each senator is entitled to an hour to speak post-cloture ifr d they cared to. it's my understanding that speak corker, wicker and bitter wishr to speak post-cloture. here if you want to speak for an hour, that's fine. i have no place to go.if we but if we could all have an idea as to how long senator corker, senator wicker and senator vitter wish to speak, i could dc
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direct this to the chair, to my friend can a senator from tennessee. >> i really don't want to speak. here's what i want to happen.eel members on both side of the aisle feel like this institution has decorated into a place thata is no longer a place of any like deliberation about. the and i'd like for you in the us minority leader to explain totoy less so that we have one story herec in pathetic as to what is happening this week to lead us to a the place that we are.now. that's how i'm asking. that's how i want to know. explain how the greatest deliberative body on a bill that many would say it was a messaging bill in the first place ended up having there rigt amendments and were in this rlace that we a e right now. i'd just like to understandir tm
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that. >> mr. president, to the chair to my friend from tennessee and others who wish to listen, we moved to this legislation, the h china currency.ish to 79 senators who wish to receive. once were on the pill, i partially filled the tree. hey nine months, that when i try to have an open amendment process,d it is a road to nowhere. we haven't been able to fluctuate a single billless wher regardless of whether that'sron, right or wrong, that's what a i cad. senator mcconnell wanted tos j offer an amendment of the president's jobs b bill. to do that, that in effect
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waswilling tbecause he unwilling to let us move to any other man-made. every i was going to move to other sor amendments, specifically e everyone that was involved iname this progress by senator hatch was clearly germane and int relative. said,he but without going into he's said he's said, the fact is that noae amendments were off for it come even though i was happy to have some amendments offered. now what has happened over the last nine minutes is that --e anything that's been on myt share, we went about this. when cloture was invoked, senators -- it was late anator c senator p demint and senator coburn picked up on this quickly. chronic cloture vote mission to suspend the rules w now as i said today, that was
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done in this instance.blican now i note that my republican friends say the reason we did that we couldn't offeri disagre amendments on the underlyingd a, bill. i disagree with that. i think people could've offered amendments, but were at thes point where we had nine or 10 to susnd the amendments -- nine or 10 motions to suspend the rules. i worked all day, much the time senator mcconnell trying to amet come up with a list of those amt amendments that have suspended. i had to give approval of my ofh caucus to move outos thisi could amendment. i couldn't do it.mendmentthat ae i had an effect meet a member o. my sethnators vereyy unhappy by moving to amendments that are wtremely difficult. the only amendment that i am on aware of that instrument to what we are working on a senator
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hatch's amendment. the rest of them are not germano to do maybe could amendments, great message amendments causing a lot of pain over here, but i and senator mcconnell said that he needed at least one more. i couldn't get one more. so, workers say chile took place here is this, i believe that ase i indicated in my statement, that rule 22 commit dealing with cloture says that when cloture t is invoked, it is a finite, ends debate on this issue unless 30 they're amendments that have wet been filed and can be dealt with during the 30 hours. there weren't any in this instance. been here so, i have been here quite aunpi while and one of the most the unpleasant things that i teach you with over the years has been the vote when we do the budget , thing. we've had 60, 70, 80, 120iled. amendments filed. been
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under this procedure that it'snc recently been adopted by the minority in this instance, there is no limit to how many minutes can be filed. there was nine or 10. way t this has to come to an end. this is not a way to legislate.l and that is why a motion to tt. overrule the ruling of theat chair, that's why it may die. i think this is something discussed in great detail at tho beginning of this congress. s i havetr a number of senators on my site who believe very a strongly as my friend from tennessee has just described ato the senate has become a place that's very difficult to debate anything. and and so, senators merkley and otr senator udall joined by others wanted to change the rules.ved and at that time, we believed il parliamentarian and although acc lot that we were familiar with such a simple majority can change the roaster manically as
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it relates to filibuster and all kinds of other things. ifelt that certain changes were important and maybe we should bw sent to this. w that's why we are not readingto the amendments now as we used to do and be forced to do antions occasion and we had a gentleman's agreement that there would be motions to proceed generally.l th i would not fill the treaty ofef the time. as a result of that, senators merkley and udall, much to their consternation because i didn't-e join with the majority of my caucus, opposed what they did.is because i was hopeful that we bk could get back to doing some don legislative we've done in the past. now, i feel very calm will do tg what we are doing to what we did dday is the right thing to do. and i sat this morning when i
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talked about doing this, first? hat if said to me, w you're in the minority? let me tell everyone within the sound of my voice, and if i were in the minority have been twowe days. i think it's dilatory enron. just as i've said when we were in the famous debate is now ramous dealing with the judgesna issue that we have the nuclear option. i said if i were in a positionpn to j exert what i thought was to nuclear option on judges, i legh wouldn't do it. and i wouldn't. i think we have to do a better job of legislating here underisd the rules. so even though perhaps senator merkley and senator udall wereac disappointed that we have not wt massively change these rules, i went allowing them was hoping things work out better. but just at place here is an he. effort to try to excavate what's going on around here. that and by 100% sure that i'm rightl now, but i feel pretty calmo bem
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about. there has to be something to bet dilatory type x to stop things.s cloture means and. it's over with. the >> mr. president, who is the mcd floor?ry, if and if that makes theield t distinguished. >> paddlewheel to my friend t anotenher republican leader to respond to any questions the senator from tennessee may havet >> without objection. >> for the benefit of oury car, colleagues at lexington have ord been.ass. it's not complicated. on it was pretty clear whether you liked this pillar didn't it was going to pass. you could tell that the cloture athe very large majority. ultil so i don't think my good friend the majority leader had to worry about whether his bill was ultimately going to pass.e the question was whether they were going to be any amendments at any point to the bill. my
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my conference made a decision actually against my vast advice to invoke cloture on the bill after it had no amendments. h the reason we have no amendments with called crawling up the ames tree, thereby allowing no prove. is w and he said come you know, we are open for amendments. but what he means is any up amendments today approved. so, he posted the tree in prayel to cloture on theed bill, controlled whether any amendments would be allowed ands chose not to allow any as a parl of matter. my so against my best advice, myowd conference decided to invoke cloture on the bill that we were moving towards approving the bill with no expression whatsoever. and so, we have in the post-cloture environment the
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motion to suspend, which has noh been abused by this minority. not been abused by thishas minority. chair wit the majority leader and effect t has overruled the chair with a simplee majority vote andcedent established the precedent that o even one single motion to suspend, even one as dilatory.he changing the rules of the senate. and if you let back at thisment outcome of what we've hads in, s before s before cloture, no motions to suspend after cloture, no expression on the part of the minority at all. and i don't know why anybody should get like they werethis offended by nongermane amendments. this is the u.s. senate. we don't have any procedure maintenance. no, we don't.any and a subject on any bill can ba
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offered as an amendment. we all know that. is the now, the fundamental problem here is the majority never likes that'san the core problem. and i can remember when i wasr st. germain members over andover over again when they were c whining about missing posts, they didn't want to vote, that f the prices being in the majority is you have to take that those because in the united states be heard, not entitled to when. and that's the core problem here. this is nothing personal. i like him. we do with each other every day. we are tur fundamentally trainio this into the house.er no amendments before cloture.cl noot motions suspended aftern
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cloture.big the minorities out of business and it's particularly bad on a bill that has the support of over 60 members as this one didg if you're not among those 60, you're out of luck. download, this is a bad mistakee where you get business done in this segment is being prepared to take that votes and at some senate want to be able to pass,t it will pass. a 60 members don't want to be a. little pass, it won't pass and it is my time-consuming.people n i assume that's why last people ran for the senate instead of tl the house because they wanted to be able to express themselves. this is ave freewheeling body ae everybody is better off when we operate that w way.or the whether you're in the majority or the minority because two daye minority may be two dayshave atl majority. the country is better off to onu
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place when you have to reach a supermajority to a do things ano understand hiser frustration. you are going to win on thiseidt bill. j you didn't need toam gms. bou you shouldn't gms than any bill, but on this bill you are going to win.ime some of us think we're wastingo our time because it's a senator from tennessee said this wasn't receding around here when we hae to pass trade bills for thel. president has to vote on a i wanted to give them an to opportunity to episode the other day. you guys didn't want withoutnge. many changes, but you could prevent that and you did. doesn love, america doesn't need less today. it needs more debate. when 60 members of the united states senate to fight to to fight to pass something, it will pass. i think we made a big mistake to
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make.the weekend we are kind of cool off and it' think over the weekend that we stitutio will undo what we did tonight because it's not in the bes interest of this institution or the americanjo people. shod >> mr. president. >> the senate should functionf and acknowledge that, but we not legislation abls of that have been brought down as a result of not being able to havt finality of that legislation.an, unending amendments that are not germane or relevant, small business that is passed in the past years easily with economica tivelopment in the easily.ly job. creating those that we hava not been amendment process thaty now, there are both of germane is in the senate. and let's think about thesee ari
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amendments.s i there's others i didn't agreetev to, but they are but they are meant to say creepy should i beg though.l. not that i wanted to be conveyed nothing to do with the underlying o bill.ase. gurus of the tremendous. >> attunement amendment right ad to. we are beheaded photo and not, but we agree to have another one. and barrasso, not so. paul, federal funding audit, coburn, foreign aid. enforci mr. president, part of cloture is enforcing germane is. that's what it's all about. we are happy to germane amendments, but the fact is the republican leader himselfi a decided not to have amendments on thisgree bill. prior to cloture, that's the way wa it is. better
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mr. president, we have to make senate a better place. i think the better places to do what was didn't tonight and get rid of these dilatory we woul be amendments. i mean, we would be happy ifgamn poor senator bingaman could get some bill side of the energy amendment. we could do something if we com, could get some bill side of the foreign relations committee. we could maybe look at foreign aid. these things are dilatory and only unnecessary to divert whats we're really trying to do here and that is legislative. so the issue is this,ning of t mr. president. i believe that what we did at the beginning of this congress has the right to do. weeks but as the weeks and months havh gone on, we spend months at times on cr done in a series of
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crs, two weeks to funding few government. time. what a waste of time. we have spent months raising the debt ceiling and making it nearly impossible if notn impossible to legislate anothere manners. when we get a chance to legislate, we should be halted l by dilatory manners. i want to legislate.ld be i've taken both in my career to be happy to vote on o these, bub there has to be an end to this.. i'd be happy -- >> there aren't any rules or there aren jermaine esprit cloture in the senate. there aren't any.ject. any amendment can be offered ony any subject and that's been one, of the great frustrations of every majority down through the years and we all know that. so my friend the majority leader in order to prevent onnd unpleasant amendment builds at t
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the tree and decided sense of ae that he's going to contain the amendments that are either jermaine, relevant or put in another matter can't put another way of his choosing. allow >> what was that?. friend >> of your choosing. whatever you want to allow. a friend keeps talking about wasting time. we soon came to him might not be wasting time to us. be we might not think that offering a madman on sunday we think is important for the country is a r waste of the senate's time.hori so who gets to decide who's wasting time around here? was none of us. none of us have that authority bu to decide who was wasting time.s but the way you make things to happen is you get 60 votes at ts some point and you move to matter to conclusion. the best way to do that is toto have an open amendment process. that is the way this place used to hi operate.this not but then here while. w i know this isn't the way it's always have been. we did get things accomplishedyn
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not by trying to strangle everybody and shut everybody up, but by allowing the process pros somewhere. shut when the senate gets tired of the m process, 60 people shut it down and you move to conclusiont that's how you move something. ahead, not by preventing the sat voices. we sat her around your today's nunquam calls. did you all notice that? we could have been voting on amendments. sitting around in quorum calls. talk about a waste of time. >> mr. president, mr. president, i am going to respond to this. i don't know the exact number now, but almost 30 judges are eaiting to b approved. people who are waiting to changl their lives. it's their future arctic duty to public service. i can't fail cloture in office.
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there's 29 of them. we, mr. president has been nomis steaming and this congress and getting things done, holding for that nominations for judges. nom some people have been on thear r executive pattern for a long, long time. it is unfair. on. so we can do alternate leaves ti that my friend the republican leaders talking about, about hoh great thinkap should happen aroe here. if you think should happen. in should be votes in thosebeens through here that have beennomir happening since the beginning of this country. nominations, for example. we can't do that because my as friend, the republic leader as candidacy lessig is numberent number one goal is to see president obama and that's what's been going on for nine months here. issue this issue believes these the dilatory tag takes on theseusped notions to this than the rules is part of the game that's beeno
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played.lati i agree. let's get back to legislating ag we did before lewis defeat obama. >> with a maternity later yield for a question? i >> senator from vermont. look >> mr. chairman, i pose this question and i look around the i solar end senator in a way, my dear friend from hawaii and no one has served longer than iears have on the current membership, nobody. i keep hearing this talk about 60 votes. house does he win by 51 votes votes, 60 votes come of this isl some new invention i tell my hi. friends based on my question to the majority leader. whether we were here with the democratic maturity ory, d republican majority, when judges
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who are confirmed unanimously come every single republic can come every single democrat running for the the committee within sat on the calendar for three, four, five, sometimes sie months because there's not an agreement to vote without 60 votes supermajority. i cannot remember my time in 37 years. he' >> senator from vermont to spen, your longer than i have, but he's absolutely right. and it would, mr. president, and that the republican leader and i think this is because today.re extemporaneous remarks for this position here worries nowators standing. and i quote, 60 senators bringta you mattter to conclusion, and
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that's what a few minutes ago ta and that's what cloture is all about.as that's what cloture is all i about. i believe in cloture. as i've indicated several timesn earlier, i wasn't in favor of changingging the rules that somf my colleagues did, but i think this is a step forward and makeo this process work a lot better.m i went to yield for my friendrom from mississippi. >> yield for a question. >> the distinguished majority leader for yielding and i will not take long. long. i've been in the senate four years now and it is my and i colleagues note that i don't come down to the floor and spouf a lot of hot air. but i have to be heard tonight. and i will agree with my friendh the majority leader on one legia thing. no way to legislate. he said those words a fewwe h
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moments ago and i agree. we have become accustomed to ats procedure. and ti have disagreed with thaa procedure, but it has been the regular order during that time i've been here. and that is the usual this is a bill is brought to the floor ant the majority leader immediately offers every amendment that could possibly be offered at a parliamentary way, thus filling the amendment tree and preventing other senators from offering amendments.ture then, cloture is failed. and we don't have an opportunitn to have a full hearing. now i'm told this is not alwayss democrat days, but we've been accustomed to that is.onight what happened tonight is far different and i think that's why my friend from tennessee
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propounded the question to the we majority leader.aging b we had a bill that may be a messaging bill, but if that were passed, it would be a significant piece of th legislation. i think both sides acknowledge this. and no amendments are allowedve free cloture and no amendments have been allowed post-cloture.r and the majority leader this t very day after the cloture vote assured the senate that we woull bed operating under an open process.s, he said those words. of not not only that and perhaps tn majority leader when i finish in just a moment or two could correct me, but i believe i heard the majority leader say ws motions tooth and the rules on e number ofnd amendments and debae
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would be allowed.cc that what occurred was senator coburn offered his motion to suspend the rules on hiso amendment. and we assume that we would be able to do this on at least a few of them ends. a but the very first amendment war the majority leader suggested to the chair and made a point of order to the chairs that that was dilatory. one amendment. and that was deemed dilatory by the majority leader and the parliamentarian correctly in strict did the chair to overrule that suggestion by the majority leader. upholding the precedents of the senate. one then one by one, democratic vot
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members of this body had to thi march down and overrule the parliamentarian of the senate for the very purpose of shutting single women have. when the majority leader well knew he had the votes to win, but our rules have i thoughtgn undesigned and i think our society designed around the concept that the minority has ab opportunity to be protect you. minority has an opportunity to bodies. have changed the rules of the senate on a messaging bill, on a matter that the majority leader had the votes on. so that is my objection. that is why i am so disturbed
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about the overreaction and heavy-handedness of this move. this is not a matter of supporting of one bill that he wants to get us out of town on. this is precedent, and we have -- unless we can change it, foreverunless we can change it, and unless we can change it we have forever changed the rightgt of the majority to be heard post cloture, and i am saddened abou. that. all, >> majority leader? >> first of all, let me tell mye friend that amendments could have been offered cloture, andcd my friend said he thought we would be able to offer amendments post cloture with the motion to suspend the rules ande that's what i said would happen and i agreed to that.n seven amendments. aw people are saying you choose them.i d i didn'idt come up with theseeyw
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things. they came up with them, and i guess i was supposed to pick and select and that's what i did.'st hecould not get agreement on the some of these amendments and i m explained these in detaily. previously. also, everyone should recognizes cloture. the rules 20 to provide, quote, the sense of the senate shall be brought to a close. that's all it says. i a ruling business a long time. i'm sorry my friend is disappointed, but i think the playbook that he is reading from is not really accurate.pi is >> the senator from mississippia is accurate until just a few months ago motions to suspend post cloture were appropriate nr
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water or the appropriate becausd of my ffriend from mississippi pointed out we have in facte. changed the rules. >> the majority leader. riyield to my friend from f tennessee.om >> first i want to thank the leader for taking the time to hs bring from his perspective whatd had happened ducks 3i guess what i would like to understand is when amendments are offered one vote on staardad and them? it's become a standard s procedure. over? >> could you start over i was interrupted.: that's n >> first i want to thank the leader for taking the time toor explain from his perspective has happened here is like to point . understand. aloture we have a cloture motion, theeda motion to proceed on a mondayda itys thursday night we had noloe vote on anything other than a le cloture vote.tand is why i guess what i would love to
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understand is why don't we give immediately begin voting onh amendments we could have been y. done with this bill yesterday. instead everybody equals their heels and weeds around whileion some negotiation takes place asr a sort of self-appointed rulesed committee and then at the end something likeend this happensl 'td like to understand from then perspective why we don't go iner and vote on amendments we could have been done.y >> mr. president if i could just peop respond to my friend.f this is people around here talking about this as something that has never happened before. it has happened -- i don'the remember all the times i've been in the senate that the chair as brilliant as our parliamentariaa is and the chair does its best n to sustain always sustained andt i'veho been involved we did thig
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with the understanding is major dilatory and that's with the >> who yields for a question? >> i would be happy to yield mr from my friend. of a -- we are all frustrated and the senator from tennessee and in ag the beginning of the session anu obviously it hasn't worked terribly well to try to try straighten this out.re you are frustrated.we c talk we can talk about the specifics here and the point i would make is that true offered on the floor he said honor will allow amendments on this billbill yesterday in the only amendmentn that was sentdm to us was the amendment to have a vote on the th president's budget; is that's correct? the was before the clincher wasi filed. and it was not widely known on thmajority this side the majority leader had offered a month on this bill but the question i want to ask
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an awful i want to leave that te the question you are frustrated because yo ture feel that it is built all the time and you can't make amendments the 60 vote rule used routinely which it never bn had been done before judges, district court judges.ate i've been here in the senate 13h followed the s aboenate,ut caret sudges it never happened beforet routine appointments, assisting the secretaries of this, deputy, secretaries of that, 60 votes. r and on bill after bill after pl bill the procedureac of this ple works that somebody has to mject otherwise we could the proceed. in the past the motion to rne
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proceed was not routinely blocked and almost every single bill important bills obviously no one thinks the healthcare bill should have passed by 51 mr votes to russia if. but on minor bills we have a filibuster on technicaltions to corrections to the transportation bill where to 87 was written down on 387 by a mistake in the was filibustered 60 votes so our defense is to fill the trade but what we haved to try to do here, and as i said, the senator from tennessee and i tried earlier this yearfui and may be called things down is maybe use of this flashpoint tot try to work that out again. that may be the minoritybust
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wouldn't filibuster routinely everything appointments, judgesm minor bills savored for the i major bills i agree with the le, minority leader, the republican place itys the majority sets thh agenda and get to offer is amendments.f that's been the rule since i'vel been here and is one ofy the fri reasons you are correct i see te my friend from kentucky the reason i left the house to run n but it's gotten to an extreme. you would say my colleagues on l the other side of the deal woulo say it got to the extreme because we always feel the tree. we would say it got to theibustr extreme because you filibuster everything and require 60 votes we have 53, we know that on, everything judges appointments o minor bills and if we are going to bring this place back to -- order my friend, the senator from tennessee, the juniorssee, the senator from tennessee if we are going to bring this plays to of
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the back to a way we can legislate we are going to haveek to both sides back off and figure out how to do that whiche we haven't very adequately at sr what may ask one question.ni the senator from west virginia had a few of us on his boat thit week and a member of the were freshmen senators on the other side of the on the war on the boat and i wast, on the vote weo began to talk they were askingay why is the place so and i was explaining some of the greatestt joy is i've had in the senate hd and house were conference house committees at offering amendments and things like thaty and we all sit together why can't we get back to that. s but let me say that it is notlie simply filling the tree and presenting amendments that has caused this problem.
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it is routinely requiring 60 votes before the senate gets af drink of water so my question for the majority leader is this be willing and we need a a cooling-off period, would he bee willing to sit down with theotha minority leader and others in ad ha we can get back to somewhat more of a regular order in regards to what i said so everyone so understands a little of the frustration that i have we all u went to the battle ongh the bil. everyone remembers that. people in this buildingk bows thmeplace ties that bill bup they made a mistake i ask
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consent that is a correctionl c could we get that done. don there were already press my releases out we are not going to need any consent on anything. talk about frustration, there'si plenty of it to go around. mr. present, i want to try to end this on the high node i lovn this institution i devoted most of my life here in this building not only as a long-term member a of the house and the senate buto i live here going to law school and worked on this building i love this institution trough.gre i don't want to do anything tolo denigrate the institution.hink e maybe there's blame to gobut around. i think there probably is theest
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frustration builds upon that we have situations just like this.g-off peri as we just as we had a cooling off period as we indicated that we t would on the fema cr thegreed t republican leader agreedth i wod be the right thing to do was in their satisfaction? had i get people upset, he hadit wod people said i a understand thatt suggestiond be my that we do what i originally suggested we should go ahead ans do a final passage on this matter on tuesday night to the judge first and vote on the jobf bill and we will deal with they trade stuff and i am happy to not only sit down with the republican leader and we can set up our bills as we say in the
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old and new testament and triedd to do a better job of how to ge. along here i talk to the leader e discussion twihith my leadersht today and one of the stuff since i ) to announce - east have a wh democratic senators andtime we republican senators and at thata time we can all talk about some of the frustrations we all have come in and i wanted to do thatr the first week we got back aftee the next recess.t i hope that doesn't -- all thatn people next time we get cloturet
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in the future to sit down and find out wha should do post cloture on are matters relating to people whotm arey frustrated. that's my statement, e >> i would hope that we could all lead and senator mcconnell e would direct the staff to come up with something. i note the absence of a quorum. kopp in testimony to congress secretary
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in testimony to congress today treasury secretary
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geithner said the biggest risk to the u.s. economy right now is banks and financial institutions not to be enough risk. members of the committee also asked secretary geithner about federal mortgage relief programs this is a little less than two hours. >> in the hearing will come to order. without objections all members written statements will be made a part of the record. the chair recognizes himself for an opening statement. mr. secretary, this morning you were quoted as saying that the biggest risk we face is financial institutions not taking enough risk secretary geithner, with all due respect i am not sure you have a clearer
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picture of reality as it relates to not only the thousands of pages of restricting regulations imposed on financial institutions but also the daily drumbeat of the fdic and other agencies directing the bank's not to take risks if you want to sit in my office or the office of other members of this committee and listened to the stories related to them by means street bankers talking about the restrictive regulations imposed who do you think has the responsibility to encourage the banks to make more loans. is it the regulators, isn't it the regulators who are a part of fsoc if those who make up fsoc
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want to consider who is creating systemic risk the to to to look in the mirror. if you are correct and banks are not taking enough risk, i would submit to you the problem doesn't lie with the officers in the regional banks it lies on the regulatory approach of the very members of of fsoc. we've all been saddened by the news of steve jobs def but his life should remind us the entrepreneurship and private sector and innovation with in the private sector that creates jobs he worked to make his company the most profitable it could be and by doing so enriched the lives of people told the world through is company's innovative products. without those companies jobs wouldn't have made pixar a success and could improve the cell phone and the ipod and
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tablet computer. many of us were disturbed to hear president obama questioning whether business had a right to earn a profit. i hope you don't agree with the president on this point. there is a real and powerful concern among many americans that the increasing size and cost of government and especially the expansion of the regulatory state makes it harder and harder for the next steve jobs to come along and more regulations stifle innovation and productivity many of us on the committee have expressed the same concern to you. mr. secretary, more regulation from washington and higher taxes do not encourage risk-taking, business development and growth. another successful entrepreneur charles schwab said about our economic problems we can't spend our way out of this war tax our way out of this. we can't artificially stimulate our way all of this. we cannot regulate our way out
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of this. tosk what we can and must do is knock down all of the rules that create disincentives for investment and business. mr. secretary, i agree with this and i hope you deutsch too and i think you for being here and look forward to the discussion we will be having today. at this time i recognize the ranking member for an opening statement. i noted in the chairman's statement while he discusses his or rejection of regulation in general he cites no regulation in specific and that's because i think the basis of the argument something in the legislation that we adopted prevents community banks from lending. i wait for someone to show me anything in there. i agree we have had a problem with the officers perhaps been shellshocked and restrictive but there was absolutely nothing in the legislation in fact there were several things of the legislation that empowers the banks that in fact raises the
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deposit level to 250,000, that with regards to the fdic deposit insurance gives them a break on the large banks but let's talk about the regulations which are so demonizing in general. is it the fact we are now regulating swaps and derivatives? apparently my colleagues would like to go back to the days when they could ride again roughshod over any kind of rules. we do regulate derivatives. there was a great mistake the government made 11 years ago saying they wouldn't be regulated. >> the chairman comes from a community that has had a serious problem because they were advised to get into a financial investment was a disaster, and we put into the legislation a new regulation. the regulation is that people in the future who were advising the county or anyplace else where
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would have a fiduciary responsibility to the entity and i am proud of that and that's a good thing so again i would like someone to tell me what regulation is it that keeps community banks from lending and to people want to regulate derivatives? to the want to disband? and to give back. i know that they do. the regulators are there to serve the banks. they said he was somewhat but they do have a situation where the bank regulators or the arbiters of consumer issues and they tended to be very probing and we said that will no longer be the case they will be independent consumers. fundamental difference. by the way they were not new regulations over banks. there are no regulations over the competitive banks and other thing we do for the community banks is to give them some protection against competitors who are not regulated to put pressure on them to do things the would be irresponsible that's another area we've regulated we do in that will do what some of us tried to do
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earlier including the chairman and he was not able to get his leadership to agree with him and put severe restrictions on the kind of mortgage lending that got us into trouble. yes, we regulate mortgages in there. there are mortgages of the sort people shouldn't have been granted and the had trouble repaying that led to this and we put that in there. we also regulate the notion of the securitization. it used to be that you could take out loans without any real restriction and you could then sell them and tell them the credit ratings to overrate them and contribute the problem and now they will have to be some risk retention that's a new regulation you cannot make loans without money that you have and sell them to other people based on inappropriate credit ratings and then have those cascade through the economy and in negative ways to leverage a leader of this and put fiduciary responsibility of people advising and his abilities and we say you can't make those loans without any kind of repayment and i am proud of those of the members think those are choking off activity they
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ought to be explicit about. >> i thank the ranking member. mr. secretary, you are recognized in your written statement will be made it part of the record without objection you are recognized at this time to summarize your testimony. 64 and for giving me the chance to talk about the council's work and setting up the council the oversight council you asked us to provide each year a comprehensive view of the financial market development and potential threats to our financial system. let me give you a broad overview of our conclusions and recommendations. in early 2011, the world economy still healing from crisis is hit by a very severe additional challenges higher oil prices,
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the disaster in japan, the ongoing crisis in europe and on top of that we had this very damaging defeat in the u.s. congress in the summer about whether we as a country should meet our obligations and that the date hadn't caused a lot of damage to the fabric of consumers are around the country and as we talk to businesses in july and august they would say to me what to make an investment today and hire somebody new if i don't know who the congress is going to allow the administration and executive branch to pay our bills some of these factors have eased in recent months the prices have fallen japan has come back a bit bucket to the factor has resulted in slower growth in the united states and around the world and much lower expectations of lower expectations for growth of the next 18 months or two years. the crisis in europe presents a very significant risk to global recovery and we are working
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closely alongside the imf to encourage readers to move forcefully to put in place a comprehensive strategy to stabilize the crisis and the critical in. for them is to ensure the government's one of the governments in the financial systems that are under the pressure have access to a more financial backstop that its condition and the policy reforms and actions to address the underlying cause of the problem and the general slowdown in growth the most important thing we can do is to take strong steps to strengthen the economy at home and we think the most effective strategy for doing that is to enact steps now that will accelerate economic growth tied to long-term reforms to restore fiscal sustainability. the american jobs act provides could tax cuts and investments
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that according to economists would raise growth by one or two percentage points and create one to 2 million new jobs and in the president's proposal to the joint committee without any comprehensive package of reforms to boost spending programs and our tax system to the overall debt burden would fall or begin to fall as a share of our economy. now this council established under law is composed each of the agency is responsible for oversight of the financial system and the firms and markets that comprise the system and it's the judgment of this council the u.s. financial system is in a significantly stronger positions today to withstand the new risks we face of a global economy. because the actions we took in the early stages of the crisis pascrell the weakest parts of the ones that took the most leverage no longer existed today and restructured the largest 90 banks in the country increase the common equity system was
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important financial cushion we have for the mitchell stability increase common equity by over $300 billion since early 2009 and these institutions and the system as a whole is funding themselves much more conservatively with much larger cushions of safe and liquid financial assets these are very significant improvements and together they represent more progress on the path to a more resilient more stable financial system than has been achieved in the other major economies that were caught up in this crisis. u.s. financial institutions including major banks and money-market funds have substantially reduced their exposure to the economies of europe under the most pressure to read our direct financial exposures to those governments and their financial institutions is quite small. you're not as a whole is large, so large and so closely integrated with europe and the world economy with a severe crisis in europe would cause
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significant damage to growth here and around the world. but the largest parts of europe are strong enough to manage the problems faced across the continent. these pressures we face from europe make it more important than the congress to strengthen growth now and put our fiscal position on a sustainable path. the economic and financial suite at seem since the report reinforced their recommendations we've presented to the congress and let me summarize those dirty quickly. first the council emphasizes the importance as it always will of making sure that the core parts of the u.s. financial system are moving to strengthen their financial positions and resilience. will the largest institutions to manage their businesses so they havehe
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